Madurai

Flow of traffic becomes smooth at Bibikulam junction

Barricades forming a median on Rathinasamy Nadar Road and P.T. Rajan Salai at Bibikulam junction in Madurai.

Barricades forming a median on Rathinasamy Nadar Road and P.T. Rajan Salai at Bibikulam junction in Madurai.   | Photo Credit: R_ASHOK

Police heave a sigh of relief as vehicles keep moving at the ever-congested pointSome regular users of the junction term it bad planning as there is no right turn Ambulances will struggle to cross this junction during emergencies

Madurai City Traffic Police have introduced a new traffic regulation at the ever-congested Bibikulam junction. They have erected over 50 mobile barricades forming a median along Rathinasamy Nadar Road - P.T. Rajan Salai on both sides of the junction, where five roads join at different points making it very clumsy.

In the 10 days since its inception, the new regulation has got mixed reaction from vehicle users. While the police feel that they have eased the congestion at the junction successfully, vehicle users, especially motorists, complain that they are being denied a right turn from different roads – P.T. Rajan Salai, Rathinasamy Nadar Road, Nethaji Road and the extension of Jawahar Road.

All these roads had right and left turns hitherto at the small junction. But, the right turns cutting into other roads at different points were the major cause for congestion, often resulting in chaos, said a traffic police officer. Since the junction is narrow but long, vehicle users coming in different directions tried to overtake one another to take a right turn.

“This junction had been a nightmare for us. Even a two-minute break to attend the call of nature was impossible, especially during peak hours, with the kind of heavy traffic flow. But, now all that we need to do is to ensure that no one violates ‘no-right-turn rule’ here,” the police personnel said.

With the barricades placed for more than 20 feet, two-wheelers and autorickshaws and even small cars manage to take a right turn at both ends of the barricades. But, when bigger vehicles attempt to take a right turn on the narrow stretch of carriage way, which is further reduced with haphazard parking of vehicles, both ends become bottlenecks.

A city resident, A. Deepan, flayed the new traffic arrangement. Commenting on this in a social media post, he said the move was the result of bad planning. “It would be a big struggle for ambulances from a nearby (corporate) hospital to cross this junction during emergencies,” he said.

R. Sriram, a resident of Viswanathapuram, complained that the move coming at a time when New Natham Road was in an unmotorable condition due to construction of elevated expressway meant bad planning. “Most of the vehicles are now avoiding New Natham Road to reach Athikulam junction, and Bibikulam junction was providing an alternative route,” he said.

However, the driver of a city bus said that the new arrangement had eased the traffic congestion at this junction.

The rationale behind the new move is to keep the vehicles moving. “All that the vehicles need to do is take some 100 metres of extra travel to circumvent this junction, which is otherwise chaotic. We have brought some order,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) K. Sugumaran.

With increased vehicle movement on this road due to elevated corridor work on New Natham Road, this trial of new traffic arrangement would help remove congestion, he said.

The police feel that a few more barricades would further ease the traffic flow. Vehicles from Jawahar Road could take left and then a right on P.T. Rajan Salai into Singaravelar Colony and then join Nethaji Road. Similarly, vehicles from P.T. Rajan Salai and Nethaji Road could move further into Rathinasamy Nadar Road for some 100 metres and take any of the series of by-lanes connecting the road with Viswanathapuram Main Road leading to Armed Reserve Ground to come back towards Bibikulam junction.

‘Shift bus stop’

Despite the inconvenience caused to regular users of this junction, the move has reduced congestion. However, the bus stop on Rathinasamy Nadar Road located close to the Corporation ward office needs to be shifted a little away from the junction.

“Whenever a bus stops here, not even a two-wheeler can pass through with barricade closing the carriage way. Besides, share autos and autos should not be allowed to drop and pick up customers at this stop as it leads to piling up of vehicles,” complained a two-wheeler rider.

Similarly, parking of vehicles on both sides of the roads within the barricaded area should be streamlined. The edges of the roads should be smoothened for easy movement of vehicles.

Mr. Sugumaran said that he police had asked Madurai Corporation to stop dismantling the bridge over the channel running nearby for widening it till the elevated highway work was completed up to Athikulam junction. This work would provide ample space for an elongated roundabout at the junction and provide some relief for regular road users.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 4:25:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/flow-of-traffic-becomes-smooth-at-bibikulam-junction-madurai-matters/article30331059.ece

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